If you’ve read our amiibo training guides, you’re probably aware of the fact that many characters are unspectacular. Not bad, per se; they just lack the definitive strengths to make them stand out. Unfortunately, Bowser Jr. is the epitome of this archetype — and is perhaps the character who best fits this description. This hasn’t discouraged everybody from training him, though — and if you’re thinking of raising one, too, now’s a perfect time to start!
Thanks to Riparo for contributing Bowser Jr.’s training information!
Despite his mid-tier status, Bowser Jr. is a rather interesting fighter. In general, he takes less damage than other characters; if his Junior Clown Car is attacked, the incoming move will deal 0.88 its usual damage. The vehicle also ensures Bowser Jr.’s status as a heavyweight fighter, allowing him to take more hits and survive over a longer period of time. Furthermore, his attacks deal good damage and he has a few solid kill moves.
Bowser Jr. is tough even for human players to work around. It’s even more difficult for the AI. Bowser Jr.’s Figure Player can’t do things humans can. For one, it can’t combo well; it also cannot use its up special’s hammer attack save for a very specific circumstance that doesn’t happen too often. And as mentioned before, Bowser Jr. doesn’t have a strong enough skill set to make him worth using over a higher-tiered character.
But for those who love the character – or any of his Koopaling alternative costumes – there’s certainly potential of some sort to be found here. If you’d like to learn more about Bowser Jr., his place in our metagame, and his best trainers, feel free to check out the wiki page we’ve written on him. We’ve got pages on every character, so be sure to give them a read!
Bowser Jr. is about as strong in Spirits tournaments as he is in vanilla ones. If you’re wondering whether to give him Spirits or not, the choice is yours — ideally, an amiibo trainer would have several amiibo, and some would have Spirits and some wouldn’t. That way you’ll be able to enter any kind of tournament! Just remember that you can’t get Spirits off of your amiibo without resetting or hacking it.
If you do decide to give your FP a Spirit team, Super Armor and Slow Super Armor are bonuses that work really well on Bowser Jr.. He’s a heavyweight fighter, which means he’ll be able to make full use of Super Armor’s defensive boost. Of course, Armor Knight and Trade-Off Speed ↑ / Trade-Off Ability ↑ is another safe alternative.
The most widely accepted tournament rules do ban the bonuses above, though (with the exception of Trade-Off Speed ↑ and Trade-Off Ability ↑). If you’re looking to enter a Spirits competition that bans those effects, here are a few others to try: Move Speed ↑, Weapon Attack ↑, Hyper Smash Attacks, and / or Instadrop. For stats, you can realistically use any setup and find success; that being said, a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) is generally recommended for most characters — Bowser Jr. included.
As per usual, you should mirror match your Bowser Jr. all the way to Level 50… or, until you feel satisfied with its playstyle. If you’re good with its behavior at around Level 30, feel free to turn its Learning off and have it fight CPUs in the background. Just make absolutely sure your amiibo does not fight CPUs with Learning on.
Let’s talk about some moves to use, then. Bowser Jr.’s side special, Clown Kart Dash, inflicts respectable damage. He can then jump out of it and follow up with a neutral or up aerial to deal even more damage! This is probably the most complicated combo your FP will ever learn to use (consistently), so be sure to teach it. Grab often, too, and when you do, up throw the FP and follow up with a string of up airs. Up tilts combo into up airs as well, so work that in too. Forward smash is slower, but deals a lot of damage and knockback and can catch spot dodges. When landing, you can use neutral or down airs to prevent the FP from moving in and attacking. If you use this tactic enough, it should pick up on it rather quickly!
When the FP is within kill percentage, you have a few options. On-stage, you can use forward smash to read a roll or spot dodge. It’s especially effective near the ledge. Up smash hits multiple times and punishes aerial landings. If you’re able to parry one of your FP’s attacks, you can respond with a down smash. It’s slow, though, so only use it after parrying. The AI can KO with the spin of its Clown Kart Dash, but this is somewhat difficult to teach.
Bowser Jr. can afford to go off-stage to gimp opponents, but not too far. When fighting your amiibo, you can hit it with neutral or forward aerials. If you’re on the ledge and the FP is recovering, you can use a down tilt to read its getup option. If possible, you can try to let the FP hit you with its up special as it is recovering; this way, it can time its jump to potentially gimp an enemy as it recovers. Don’t let it hit you with up special too often.
Unfortunately, Bowser Jr. rarely gets anything out of its up special save for the rare gimp. The AI can’t actually use its hammer attack (unless it gets hit out of its fall animation, for whatever reason), and it’s left completely vulnerable afterwards. Clown Cannon and Mechakoopa aren’t quite worth your time teaching either; the former is incredibly slow (and the FP charges it for too long, even if an enemy is nearby) and the latter doesn’t hit often. Keep in mind that the amiibo cannot be trained to use its side special to recover if launched off-stage; however, it will use it if it is high enough in the air. Ultimate’s AI is weird.
Bowser Jr. is definitely … finicky to train. By all accounts, you’d be better off training his father – the best character in the game – but if you’ve read everything up until now, you’re clearly determined to train junior instead! If you have any questions along the way, feel free to join our Discord server and ask away. Thanks again to Riparo for contributing Bowser Jr.’s training information, and thank you for reading. Until next time!
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